|Facebook Timeline requires increased emphasis on visual branding|
With Pinterest taking centre stage in the social media world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on this change and whether it might have implications for an online business presence. Is it possible that communication is evolving towards mainly visual interaction too? Is social media becoming more of a visual medium than one based around text?
It is a common sense notion that we live in a very visual society, one in which images are hugely significant, and the web is no different. It was perhaps only a matter of time before social media took a turn from wall posts and tweets to a pure collection of images, and that is one of Pinterest's main attractions. Jaqui MacKenzie suggests that Pinterest has become a pleasant getaway from the inevitable pitfalls of other social media sites. You select images you like and bookmark them, no sifting through information which you don't want to engage with, especially as Pinterest seems to have hit the nail on the head when gauging what its users want to see (based on their previous pins).
Pinterest's notably different appeal is obvious at first glance, however, does it have the power to become a new mode of business communication? As with Twitter and Facebook, its networking potential is vast, and it can be used to advertise and increase the visibility of a company in a unique and quite literal way.
As well as Pinterest's unique input into the visual scene of social media, Facebook's mandatory timeline feature too has quite literally 'changed the face' of Facebook, particularly when it comes to the way brands and brand pages situate themselves on Facebook. Brand engagement has said to have risen by 46% as a result of the new timeline feature. This is not necessarily due to the visual changes to their Facebook pages; however, it is important to note that the 'cover photo' has become a great way to catch a Facebook user's attention, and brands and companies that have an established online presence have been using this to their advantage, here are just a few examples.
Finally, an image based information source which we have always been a fan of, which is probably apparent if you take a look at our Pinterest page, is the infographic. This is a way of delivering what can be considered quite dense information and statistics in a colourful, eye catching and memorable way. You can see some great examples of this at Visualoop. Infographics perfectly fit in with the progression towards a more visual, rather than textual, use of social media, and because of this we think their use will increase dramatically. James Schramko proposes the need to bring business and creativity together when suggesting the usefulness of infographics for online marketing, and the social media for the job is, of course, Pinterest.
Bearing in mind the ever-increasing business and brand usage of visual media, as well as the more surreal and creative aspects, the question is whether when it comes to social media, a picture speaks a thousand words.